Winter weather en route

Published 11:09 am Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The weather system that everyone has been watching closely over the past few days is finally here.

Citizens across the Roanoke-Chowan area counties can still expect a mixed bag of precipitation…starting as snow, transitioning to sleet, then a brief period of freezing rain before becoming all rain.

The amount of snow and ice varies across the region.

On Wednesday morning, the National Weather Service Office in Wakefield, VA placed Bertie, Gates and Hertford counties under a Winter Weather Advisory from 6 p.m. Wednesday until 7 a.m. on Thursday. This means that periods of snow, sleet, and/or freezing rain will cause travel difficulties. Be prepared for slippery roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving.

Snow is likely to begin in these three counties around 12 noon and 1-2 inches, to include sleet, is possible. Wednesday night, expect to see rain and sleet before 9 pm, then rain, freezing rain, and sleet between 9 pm and 2 am, turning to all rain after 2 am. Little or no ice accumulation is expected. New sleet accumulation of less than a half inch is possible. The low temp will be around 32 degrees.

Northampton County has been placed under a Winter Weather Warning from 1 pm Wednesday to 7 pm Thursday, with higher amounts of snow and sleet (2-4 inches) as well as a better threat of accumulating ice Wednesday night. The changeover to all rain in the central and western portions of Northampton County isn’t expected until daybreak on Thursday.

Be reminded that the forecast calls for a heavy, wet snow before the changeover. Add in the prediction of sleet and the chance of freezing rain, and there is a good chance that tree limbs will be weighted down to the point where they may fall on power lines, causing sporadic power outages.

Local Emergency Management officials are urging motorists to stay off the roads if all possible, especially later tonight and into Thursday morning.

With the expected rainfall, heavy in some spots, and a high temperature of 38 degrees on Thursday, any snow/ice from the storm will hopefully melt. But be careful Thursday night where the low will dip into the mid to upper 20’s, meaning any left-over moisture on the roads will freeze into “black ice.”

Friday and Saturday’s forecast calls for mostly sunny skies and highs in the upper 40’s both days.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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